The first-ever Cadaveric Meniscus Transplant in the state was successfully performed at the Kochi VPS Lakeshore Hospital, on June 20, 2023. The surgery was carried out on a 25-year-old engineer from Changanassery, Kottayam. Only 15 such procedures have been conducted throughout India till now.
The surgery was performed by Dr Jacob Varughese, Senior Consultant & HOD, Director Of Orthopaedics and Department of Joint Replacement & Sports Medicine, and his dedicated team. S.K. Abdulla, the Managing Director of VPS Lakeshore, also played an instrumental role.
The success of human meniscus replacement hinges on its ability to replicate the natural anatomy and function of the original meniscus, enabling patients to regain mobility and lead active, pain-free lives. Human meniscus replacement offers long-term relief for individuals experiencing knee joint issues.
The decision to utilize a human meniscus was made due to concerns about the longevity of artificial alternatives. Patients with meniscus injuries are at risk of developing cartilage damage, which can progress to knee osteoarthritis, leading to persistent pain and a decline in their daily activities.
The primary goal of this surgical technique is to enhance joint stability, reduce friction, and ultimately enhance the overall quality of life for patients by replacing the damaged or missing meniscus with a healthy human one.
Exorbitant costs used to be a hurdle for this type of surgery as the meniscus had to be imported from the United States. However, currently, it can be procured from external cadaveric labs in India, significantly bringing down the cost.